Too many people look back in anger and envy because they missed out. Correction, because they often fail to create opportunities others had the ingenuity to seize. And so it is with thought leadership.
Thought leadership is all about influencing and inspiring – and sometimes shaking up the status quo.
But don’t get sore, get on the front foot through thought leadership. Why? Because it makes a difference. Here’s four good reasons how.
1. Profile and reputation
From blogs and vlogs to public speaking and being a regular media interviewee (a media ‘go to’ person), even writing your own book, opinion marketing is massive these days and there have never been more ways to do it.
People respect folks who take the time to go online, get on their feet, do media interviews and generally stand up for and make sense of their business, profession, locale or industry – why it matters and enshrining the best ethics and values. It’s all about building respect and trust – and, reputationally, this has massive PR impact.
2. Set the agenda to win hearts and minds
Leading the pack not chasing them is crucial to getting your message ‘out there’ to win hearts and minds. It’s about explaining the way you do things and why rather than just what you do.
Having a positive and proactive attitude can create a huge competitive advantage over those who believe work will just come to them. So get out there and do the old BBC ethic – inform, educate and entertain – to engage your audience.
3. Buy in is easier than selling.
We don’t just buy from people, we buy into people. Winning buy in is easier through thought leadership as it’s our take on the world – and, done carefully, it can explain why we are the go-to people for our particular product, service or event. Shining a light on best practice and displaying knowledge, skill, experience and expertise is far better than cold calling or same old, same old marketing.
4. Relationship building
The moment you post a blog or vlog or go on air you start engaging with people in seconds. It’s about giving to get back. If you offer sanguine advice – guess where they’ll come looking for the service?
Okay, sometimes you’ll have to be in it for the long haul to turn them into potential customers but that’s fine – you’ve made an important start by enabling them to ‘get’ you and this is likely to influence them the next time they look for your product or service.
Oh, and it’s all better than looking back in anger…
Thought leadership is the theme of our next Business Media Club meeting at the CGM Media Centre in Worcester on November 30.